Monash Team Produces First FODMAP Cookbook

Monash University

The expert team that developed the world’s first low FODMAP diet for people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) has produced a cookbook with delicious recipes and diet tips.

Monash University’s Low FODMAP: The Cookbook follows years of ground-breaking research and will make life easier for those with IBS. It also includes vegetarian, vegan and gluten free recipes.

The book introduces Monash University’s unique Low FODMAP Stack Cup, which allows people with IBS to quickly and easily understand what they can eat in one sitting, and mix and match recipes to create delicious, low FODMAP meal plans, without triggering IBS symptoms. Using the Stack Cup, one full four-band cup represents the FODMAP limit for one meal.

The FODMAP stack cup enables readers to combine recipes and customise meal plans. For example, one serve of French lamb shanks (1 band) and one serve of roasted vegetables with balsamic (3 bands) provides the full four bands. After 2-3 hours, the ‘cup’ returns to zero.

Monash University Head of Translational Nutrition Science, Associate Professor Jane Muir, said the comprehensive cookbook incorporated 120 delicious and nutritious recipes, created by experienced dietitians using the world’s largest database of FODMAP-tested foods.

“Living with IBS can be challenging, especially for those with busy lives,” Associate Professor Muir said. “This book offers tasty, modern recipes that are easy to prepare, enabling people to eat well and manage their IBS symptoms”.

“All recipes are tested, and the book includes evidence-based advice, drawing on more than 15 years’ research by our Monash team. Any profits will contribute to future research, so we hope this book will have a positive impact on millions of lives, either directly or indirectly.”

Launched to coincide with IBS Awareness Month (April), Low FODMAP: The Cookbook introduces 120 new low FODMAP recipes using flavours from around the world. It also provides guidance around:

  • the three phases of the FODMAP diet
  • FODMAP stacking – with the new Monash ‘low FODMAP stack cup’ symbol
  • vegetarian and vegan suggestions
  • healthy eating on a low FODMAP diet
  • a low FODMAP pantry list.

IBS is a gut disorder affecting one in seven adults. Developed by Monash University experts in the mid-2000s, The Monash University Low FODMAP Diet™ revolutionised IBS treatment, providing unprecedented symptom relief.

FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols. They are a group of carbohydrates that are not completely digested or absorbed in the intestines. When FODMAPs reach the small intestine, they move slowly, attracting water.

When they pass into the large intestine, FODMAPs are fermented by gut bacteria, producing gas as a result. The extra gas and water cause the intestinal wall to stretch and expand. Because people with IBS have a highly sensitive gut, ‘stretching’ the intestinal wall causes exaggerated sensations of pain and discomfort.

The low-FODMAP diet is an evidence-based therapy that restricts intake of these carbohydrates, which are found in a wide range of foods, and improves symptoms for three in four people with IBS.

Monash dietitians, scientists and gastroenterologists established the FODMAP diet’s effectiveness in the mid-2000s and improved understanding of how FODMAPs trigger IBS symptoms. They tested hundreds of foods globally and developed the Monash University FODMAP Diet App, which launched in 2012.

Monash University Department of Gastroenterology Senior Research Dietitian Dr Jane Varney said the cookbook consolidated all the research to produce practical, tasty and nutritious recipes. “These recipes, when followed using the stack cup method, will improve the quality of life for many people with IBS – all for the cost of a cookbook,” she said. “The food also tastes amazing.

“Restricted diets can appear bland and unappetising. We wanted to ensure that those with IBS could enjoy food that not only tastes fabulous, but is good for them. “This wonderful book is the culmination of many years’ work by dedicated experts determined to provide a low-cost and effective solution to combat IBS symptoms globally.”

Low FODMAP: The Cookbook retails for AUD$59.95 (excluding shipping). Proceeds will go towards research and the Monash FODMAP program.

Purchase at

The Monash FODMAP team

A Monash University research team founded the FODMAP concept and developed the first low FODMAP diet. It conducted the first studies to show that a low FODMAP diet reduces symptoms in 75% of people with IBS, demonstrated the mechanisms by which FODMAPs trigger gut symptoms and built a large database describing the FODMAP composition of food. These research findings have since been replicated by dozens of research groups globally, and the experience of patients using this diet has been overwhelmingly positive. Clinical guidelines now recommend a low FODMAP diet as a first-line IBS treatment in Australia, the UK, the USA, Canada, Japan and Korea. The diet has helped millions of people with IBS manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. What is IBS and what are FODMAPs? IBS is a common gastrointestinal disorder that affects around one in seven people, who usually experience abdominal (tummy) pain and abnormal bowel habits such as diarrhoea, constipation, or a combination. Other common symptoms include bloating, distension and excessive flatulence (wind or gas). Certain sugars found in foods are known to trigger symptoms of IBS and these sugars are known as FODMAPs. FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, And Polyols. FODMAPs are found in many common foods, including fruit and vegetables, grains and cereals, nuts, legumes, dairy foods and manufactured foods. Most people eat FODMAPs without problems, but people with IBS have a highly sensitive gut wall and FODMAPs can trigger gastrointestinal symptoms, including pain, excessive flatulence, bloating, distension and abnormal bowel habit.

More photos and recipe available on request

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